- Firm Begins LPG Cylinder Production, as Osinbajo Inaugurates Plant
The Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, has inaugurated a plant that is capable of producing five million cylinders for Liquefied Petroleum Gas, also known as cooking gas, annually.
The plant was built by Techno Oil Limited in Lagos and unveiled on Friday, with the company saying it could meet the country’s requirements and export to other West African countries.
Osinbajo described the inauguration as a landmark moment for Nigeria’s mid-downstream gas sub-sector, and a reminder that the country must regard its abundant domestic gas resource as an important component of economic growth and national prosperity.
He said, “Techno Oil’s investment auspiciously converges with our administration’s efforts to speedily diversify our economy, especially through domestic and indigenous solutions.
“When we came into office in 2015, one of the issues we identified was the abysmally low domestic utilisation of Liquefied Petroleum Gas in Nigeria – a nine per cent penetration rate nationwide, despite Nigeria’s domestic LPG production of three million metric tonnes per annum.”
He noted that for too long, the nation’s dominant fuel options had remained petrol, diesel and firewood, which “present significant health, environmental, economic and social challenges.”
According to the Vice-President, natural gas and its derivatives such as LPG are cleaner and more friendly to the environment, and also present substantial economic and investment opportunities across the Nigerian economy.
He said the Federal Government’s goal “is to achieve five million metric tonnes of domestic, commercial and industrial LPG utilisation in 10 years.”
“Specifically, for household cooking, we are targeting a 40 per cent adoption rate (i.e. 13.8m households) in five years, and 73 per cent adoption in 10 years (33.3m households). We believe that the sub-sector can create up to two million new direct and indirect jobs in Nigeria,” he added.
While commending the visionaries and management of Techno Oil for making “this substantial investment in the development of the gas sector,” Osinbajo said the Federal Government would continue to work with them to ensure their success.
The Executive-Vice-Chairman, Techno Oil, Mrs Nkechi Obi, said the ultra-modern plant was built to bridge the infrastructural gap – cylinder inadequacy and high cost of its acquisition – hindering LPG adoption in the country.
She stated that the saturation of the market with imported old, expired and substandard cylinders had raised concerns among stakeholders.
She said the company would deploy cylinders of international quality into the Nigerian market, produced in Nigeria for Nigerians.
Obi said, “We are aware of several cylinder plants in the past, whose operations have collapsed due to continued importation of old, expired and substandard cylinders into our country.”
CBN Predicts 2 Percent Growth for Nigeria in 2021
Despite the economic recession and numerous uncertainties encompassing Nigeria in recent months, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said the nation will grow by 2 percent in 2021.
Speaking at the 2020 bankers’ dinner organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Godwin Emefiele, the Governor, CBN, said implemented government intervention programmes will aid the nation’s recovery by next year.
Emefiele further stated that the intervention efforts represent around 3.5 percent of Nigeria’s current Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He said, “Our actions in 2021 would be guided by the considerations that emerged from the Monetary Policy Committee meeting of November 23 & 24, 2020, which sought to address the major headwinds exerting downward pressure on output growth and upward pressure on domestic prices.”
On fast declining foreign reserves, the Governor said the institution has adopted a demand management framework designed to boost the production of items that can be produced locally and aid conservation of external reserves.
“Due to the unprecedented nature of the shock, we continued to favour a gradual liberalisation of the foreign exchange market in order to smoothen exchange rate volatility and mitigate the impact which rapid changes in the exchange rate could have on key macro-economic variables,” Emefiele stated.
The CBN projection came few weeks after the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)’s report showed Africa’s largest economy contracted by 3.62 percent in the third quarter following a 6.10 percent decline posted in the second quarter. Nigeria officially slid into the worse economic recession in almost 30 years and the second economic recession under the current administration.
While, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, has projected that Nigeria would rebound from the recession in this final quarter or the very first quarter of 2021, falling revenue generation, rising capital flight amid weak demand due to the negative impact of coronavirus on earnings, household incomes and lack of jobs remain a concern.
COVID-19 Vaccine: Crude Oil Extends Gain to $48 Per Barrel on Wednesday
Oil prices rose further on Wednesday as hope for an effective COVID-19 vaccine and the news that the United States of America’s President-elect, Joe Biden has begun transition to the White House bolstered crude oil demand.
Brent crude oil, a Nigerian type of oil, gained 1.63 percent or 78 cents to $48.64 per barrel at 11:50 am Nigerian time on Wednesday.
The United States West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil rose by 1.36 percent or 61 cents to $45.52 per barrel.
OPEC Basket surged the most in terms of gain, adding 3.16 percent or $1.37 to $44.75 per barrel.
This was after AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech announced the positive results of their trials.
Moderna and Pfizer had claimed over 90 percent effective rate in trials while AstraZeneca said its COVID-19 vaccine was 70 percent effective in trials but could hit 90 percent going forward.
“The possibility of having a vaccine next year increases the odds that we’re going to see demand return in the new year,” said Phil Flynn, senior analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.
Also, the decision of President-elect Joe Biden to bring Janet Yellen, the former Chair of Federal Reserve, back as a Treasury Secretary of the United States is fueling demand and strong confidence across global financial markets.
“President-elect Biden’s cabinet choices, particularly Janet Yellen’s Treasury Secretary position, are adding to upside momentum across a broad space of asset classes,” said Jim Ritterbusch of Ritterbusch and Associates.
Seyi Makinde Proposes N266.6 Billion Budget for Oyo State in 2021
The Executive Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, has presented the Oyo State Budget Proposal for the 2021 Fiscal Year to the Oyo State House of Assembly on Monday.
The proposed budget titled “Budget of Continued Consolidation” was said to be prepared with input from stakeholders in all seven geopolitical zones of Oyo state.
Governor Makinde disclosed this via his official Twitter handle @seyiamakinde.
According to the governor, the proposed recurrent expenditure stood at N136,262,990,009.41 while the proposed capital expenditure was N130,381,283,295.63. Bringing the total proposed budget to N266,6444,273,305.04.
The administration aimed to implement at least 70 percent of the proposed budget if approved.
He said “The total budgeted sum is ₦266,644,273,305.04. The Recurrent Expenditure is ₦136,262,990,009.41 while the Capital Expenditure is ₦130,381,283,295.63. We are again, aiming for at least 70% implementation of the budget.”
He added that “It was my honour to present the Oyo State Budget Proposal for the 2021 Fiscal Year to the Oyo State House of Assembly, today. This Budget of Continued Consolidation was prepared with input from stakeholders in all seven geopolitical zones of our state.”
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